Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, Rania Al-Mashat, announced that the Saudi Grant Management Committee is providing EGP 100m to the AlexBank to support the digitalisation of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), artisans, and craftsmen.
This came during the committee’s 26th meeting that took place recently, chaired by Ghadeer Hegazy, Assistant Minister of International Cooperation, and Hasan Al-Attas, Director-General of Operation at the Saudi Fund for Development, as well as representatives of the AlexBank.
People at the core – Tapping potential of Egyptian youth
The grant comes under the Ministry of International Cooperation’s Global Partnerships Narrative, which is defined by the triple Ps: people at the core, projects in action, and purpose as the driver.
Under people at the core, Minister Al-Mashat asserted that the grant aims to revive local artisanship and reinvigorate the new artisan economy, which has become as increasingly important in the face of high global demand for high-quality, artisanal products that are also produced in a sustainable way.
The grant also aims to strengthen the financing mechanisms for micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, as they are main the engines for job creation and taps potential of Egypt youth.
During the meeting, representatives of the AlexBank gave a presentation on the bank’s financing programmes, which includes 26 governorates.
The bank estimates that there will be around 1,475 beneficiaries from the programmes, of whom women-owned enterprises and projects owned by people under 35 years old account for 30% and 45% respectively.
Projects in action – Fruitful partnerships
Under projects in action, Minister Al-Mashat praised the fruitful cooperation between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, which has resulted in several development cooperation programmes, including grants for SMEs, development projects in the Sinai Peninsula.
The Saudi Grant Management Committee has funded 2,180 projects so far in 27 governorates, which have contributed to the creation of about 12,000 job opportunities under the $200m grant signed in 2016.
Purpose as the driver
Committed to achieving the global goals, the project achieves the following targets: Goal 8 for decent work and economic growth through promoting job creation and access to financial services, Goal 5 for gender equality, Goal 10 for reduced inequalities, and Goal 17 for partnerships for the goals.